NO. 59 ROUSH/VALVOLINE MUSTANG TAKES HOT STREAK INTERNATIONAL TROIS RIVIERES, Quebec, Canada (August 17, 2008) - Over the past two races, the duo of Jack Roush Jr. and Dean Martin have been riding a hot streak with a pair of Top-10 finishes and...
NO. 59 ROUSH/VALVOLINE MUSTANG TAKES HOT STREAK INTERNATIONAL
TROIS RIVIERES, Quebec, Canada (August 17, 2008) - Over the past two races, the duo of Jack Roush Jr. and Dean Martin have been riding a hot streak with a pair of Top-10 finishes and climbing from 16th to seventh in the Grand-Am KONI Challenge points championship. Heading into Quebec for the Grand Prix de Trois Rivieres, and the very tight 1.520-mile street course, they knew that it would be a tough challenge to keep the streak alive.
Roush qualified the No. 59 ROUSH/Valvoline Mustang in fourth position which set the tone for the weekend and was his second-best career qualifying run. When the green flag flew Roush kept that position for 25 laps, neither able to gain on the cars in front of him or face a challenge from those in his rear view mirror.
"I didn't really get much of a chance to move up or down," Roush said of his run. "We were pretty consistent with the leaders (lap times). I was pretty tight with the car ahead of me but just couldn't get a run and we had broken away from the drivers behind me so there really wasn't much chance of losing any positions.
"The No. 59 ROUSH/Valvoline Mustang was fairly sensitive this weekend but it seemed to do well as long as I could keep it smooth. As a driver I really worked on my smoothness as there just wasn't a lot of side-by-side racing today."
Roush pitted on lap 25 which was a strategic move as the team had calculated that the fuel taken then could propel their Ford Mustang to the finish. Martin climbed behind the wheel and rejoined the race in 15th position, still on the lead lap.
He moved up as high as third just a handful of laps later when the first caution flag flew on lap 31. This bunched up the 21 cars in the event and when the green flag resumed the fray Martin fought the car and slowly slipped back to eighth.
On lap 48 all three of the Rehagen Mustangs were running in the top 10 and it looked like a banner day for the team. It was then that Martin began to march through the field, picking up seventh position a couple of laps later and then passing Scott Maxwell for sixth on lap 64.
Martin continued the press and made a move by Bill Auberlen on lap 73 when the second caution flew, again bunching up the field.
One lap later the green flew and with less than 10 minutes remaining in the competition things got heated. Martin was chasing Craig Stanton in a Porsche 997 while trying to keep Auberlen's BMW M3 behind him.
At the checkers, Martin kept the fifth position and kept the streak alive. This makes three Top-10 finishes for the No. 59 ROUSH/Valvoline Mustang in the past three races, including a pair of Top-5s.
"This run definitely helps with our team momentum," Roush said after the race. "Maybe it is just a coincidence, but our hot streak really began when we started using ROUSH Motor Oil in the engine but I think it's more about how well that oil maximizes a high-performance engine like ours. Our next race is in New Jersey and everyone is uncertain how that will play out. It's a brand-new racetrack so nobody has raced there before which will make it interesting, but I think that the Rehagen team has learned a lot of things this year which will help us there."
The Rehagen team was led this event by the No. 52 Columbus Truck & Equipment with Ray Mason and Billy Johnson taking third place and standing on the podium.
"It's a great event to come up here (to) Trois-Rivieres. We love coming here with the great crowds. I think I'm obviously the oldest guy on the podium, so it makes me proud just to breath up here with these fellas. Driving with Billy Johnson has been great this year. He's a 21-year-old man and he's got a great future ahead of him," Mason said after his first podium finish this season.
Despite climbing into the top 10 at one point during the event, the No. 60 Sunset Hills Vineyard Mustang with Mike Canney and Hugh Plumb again had a rough weekend. The team blew a water hose and retired early 24 laps down in 17th position.
All three of the Rehagen Racing Mustangs carry the ROUSH 427R0 graphics package.
The next event on the KONI Challenge schedule takes place at Thunderbolt Raceway in the New Jersey Motorsports Park. The green flag will fly on Sunday, August 31 at 8:45 a.m. (Eastern).
-credit: Roush Performance Products